I love you with a whisper and song
and a roar…
I love thee by stars and firelight…
By spring’s first snow drops
and fall’s red leaves.
Channeling the feel and form of the Romantic Period’s Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous love poem, Jennifer Adams’ How Do I Love Thee? (Balzer and Bray, 2018) re-shapes the original lines of the famous poem into a deft expression of childhood’s affection for friends. Three different children share fun and exploration and the beauty of their outdoor world in ways that young readers can intuitively recognize as love for each other in the scenes they share, “with each breath,” or as Browning put it, “Every day’s most quiet need, childhood’s faith.”
Artist Christopher Siles Neal’s delicate, evocative portrayals of childhood’s lively and quiet moments through the year have a moving style children will feel in their bones. Author Jennifer Adams retains much of Browning’s writing intact, but while retaining the cadence and feel of the original, uses child-friendly comparisons in place of the more romantic lines of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s nineteenth century poem.
Of Christopher Neal’s artwork, Kirkus Reviews says, with “… softly colored in earth tones, the illustrations mix the real and the fantastical.”